AZ: School software causing many problems : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

School software still being checked

JULIE STEVENS / Sierra Vista Herald / February 10, 2000 Email this story.

SIERRA VISTA - Though four days of intense Student Information Record System SIRS training ended more than a week ago in the school district, a few questions still remain.

According to Sierra Vista School District Curriculum Director Kaye Dean, discipline files are to be checked after erroneous information was discovered, suspension data has yet to be printed and a glitch in scanning progress reports may be corrected, but Buena High School administrators wont be sure until another try this week.

Erroneous disciplinary information includes one student receiving two suspensions on his transcript. The student was never given suspension.

Dean informed school board members during a regular meeting Monday that suspension files, as well as progress reports, are to be printed today.

Progress reports were to be given to students last Friday, but school officials were unable to scan them. According to Dean and Buena Associate Principal Jim Sprigg, Management Information Group officials the Canada-based group that SIRS was purchased from and district Management Information Systems, or MIS, personnel assisted in correcting the problem. Sprigg informed the board that the reports will be scanned , printed and then given to students this week.

We will resolve the problems we have gotten ourselves into, Dean said. Its not a system problem.

Dean estimated that with continued training and team work, school employees, including counselors, attendance clerks and those staff members who work closely with the system on a daily basis, will feel totally comfortable with SIRS a 180-task program come the 2000-2001 school year.

As we become as familiar as we possibly can and we continue to work with our staff members, then well feel more comfortable with it in the fall, she said.

Since the conversion from SASI, the districts old software, was completed in early November, district employees, as well as parents, have had numerous problems with SIRS from the inability to fetch important student information, including medical records and transcripts, to its slowness and inefficiency.

Extra training days were implemented to end the chagrin that has enveloped the district.

On Jan. 25 and 26, Sierra Vista Middle School personnel were trained in next year scheduling and given a chance to voice their concerns regarding the slowness of the SIRS program.

According to Sprigg, scheduling for the next school year will begin in four to six weeks.

On Jan. 27, report card production problems were addressed.

Complaints from school staff had printing report cards as taking too long. School officials printed a single report card in 50 seconds, according to Dean.

Also on Jan. 27, academic transcripts were modified to print on one sheet and speed problems were addressed. According to Dean, new computers are performing to expected time, but older computers are slow.

Human errors, which involved students not receiving history grades for the 1999 semester ending in December, were corrected.

MIG and MIS personnel also met with attendance clerks to discuss scanning problems and disciplinary records that are currently being corrected. Nurses aid concerns involving immunization reports also were corrected.

Training on Jan. 28 included a repeat run-through of previous problems.

As the lowest and most responsive bidder, the school board approved a contract last May. The systems was put in place in early November.

Here we are in February and were still trudging through, said school board president Ruben Miranda.

District Superintendent Renae Humburg will be meeting with the county attorney on Wednesday to discuss the terms of the contract and whether they are being met by MIG.

As training is costing the district $500 per day, Miranda said counseling by the county attorney to see if MIG is following the terms of the contract may be unneeded. Im not convinced that they are, he said.

The lowest most responsive bidder is no longer the lowest and most responsive bidder, Miranda concluded.

Administration will continue to update board members on SIRS.


-- Carl Jenkins (, February 15, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ